Before last week, I was a bonafide potato person. I did little-to-no physical activity and didn't like how lazy I felt. I decided to take up some yoga classes thinking it’d at least help me be a bit more active. I didn't expect everything else it would make me feel.
1. Better respect for your body.
Once your yoga teacher has you bending on all sorts of ways you never really thought possible, you begin to become super proud of these hidden capabilities of yours. It’s like finding out you've been this Gumby-Superwoman hybrid all along and had no idea. It almost doesn't even matter how well you do, it’s just a powerful feeling to do something out of the ordinary.
2. Better connectivity to your body.Not as obvious as it sounds, yoga grounds you closer to your body processes and senses. Not only are you keenly aware of your hamstring stretching to its max (kind of hard to ignore), you'll find yourself hyper aware of when you need rest. When you need to walk away from stress. When you need some more water. When certain foods won't help you digest. It’s a cool feeling to really be in the self, and not just a ghost imprisoned in a ham-sack of bones.
3. Better connectivity to the earth.The diction makes all the difference in a yoga class. In my 10 or so classes since I've begun, I've had 3 different teachers, all who use phrases like “ground your palm to the earth” or “stretch your arms to the sky.” Something about that word choice transports you to open fields and sunny skies instead of the confines of your sweaty gym, and that appreciation for nature will follow you. I find myself thinking fondly even of dirt; memories being a toddler and digging my toes into the sand taking me to a better place. Never thought my membership to LA Fitness would bring me so much awareness.
4. Self-love like you wouldn't believe.Yoga teachers of the Vinyasa practice seem to begin with a request to dedicate the practice to someone or something, often encouraging dedication to the self. It’s a moving experience to promise yourself you'll do something while looking at your mirrored reflection. To promise yourself: I’ll stretch a little deeper for you. I'll reach a little further for you. I'll hold this pose longer for you. Showing up and being present for yourself is just that: a present.